The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine

Please join us at the next Media History seminar for a presentation by Marianne Van Remoortel and a response by Birgit Van Puymbroeck. The meeting will take place at 6pm on Tuesday February 28 in Senate House Room 243. All welcome.

“Pioneer or Copycat? The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in its European Context”

The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine (1852–79) was the first affordable British women’s periodical to turn fashion into a major selling point. It earned its publisher, Samuel Beeton, a lasting reputation as a trailblazer in the fashion magazine industry. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, for instance, describes him “one of the pioneers of popular print.” In her 2006 biography of Beeton’s wife Isabella, Kathryn Hughes has started to challenge this image of the solitary business genius, demonstrating that she played a crucial role in his publishing firm, not only as author of the successful Book of Household Management (1859–61) but also as editor of the EDM. This presentation will build on the earlier work by arguing, in turn, that the Beetons’ feats as a publishing power couple need to be seen in the larger context of the transnational network in which they participated.

Marianne Van Remoortel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University. She is the author of Lives of the Sonnet, 1787-1895: Genre, Gender and Criticism (Ashgate, 2011) and Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press (Palgrave 2015; runner-up 2015 Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize), and editor-in-chief of the Journal of European Periodical Studies. Her ERC Starting Grant project “Agents of Change: Women Editors and Socio-Cultural Transformation in Europe, 1710-1920” takes her research on the periodical press into a new transnational collaborative direction.

Birgit Van Puymbroeck is Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO) at Ghent University, Belgium. Her research interests include modernism, networks, periodicals, and radio. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals such as PMLA, Modern Language ReviewEnglish Literature in Transition (1880-1920)NeophilologusBrontë Studies, and Tijdschrift voor tijdschriftstudies, as well as in essay collections published by Palgrave and Bloomsbury. She is editor-in-chief of DiGeStJournal of Diversity and Gender Studies. In Spring 2017, she will be a visiting researcher at Queen Mary University of London.

Further information about the seminar is available through the Institute of Historical Research and the Institute of English Studies.